Make no bones about it, Chicago’s FACS are favourites of ours here at Sun 13.
In what was the best produced album of last year in Void Moments (which also made our Top 50 Albums of 2020), in 2021 we expected some respite from the glorious clamour and equilibrium pummelling sounds the Chicago natives dispense.
However, Brian Case has always been the purveyor of hard work and constant output (see his former bands, Dissapears and 90 Day Men) and while the announcement of FACS‘ follow-up to Void Moments in Present Tense was announced last week and met with great delight, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
Yes, FACS are striking while the iron is hot and with Strawberry Cough, Past Tense‘s stirring lead single, the band continues their stellar run of form.
From a personal point of view, the song’s title was met humorously. I’m not sure what ‘vape culture’ is like across the Atlantic, but the title reminded me of my next door neighbour’s vaping habits, and that strawberry aroma that drifts in the hallways.
Granted, the song isn’t inspired by this at all, and, in the words of Case, “is about the world of interiors, and the line between where influences come together or split off.”
Reconvening with Sandford Parker at Electrical Audio studios, his work from behind the soundboards adds an extra panache to FACS‘ futuristic, angular racket. On Strawberry Cough, sounds shift like sand, bouncing vigorously and doing their best to give your ears a good clean.
And that’s how one feels the full force of FACS‘ splintered, junkyard din – by engaging with their music via headphones. This listening medium captures the full idea of what the band are about and with Strawberry Cough, those blustery atmospherics that could blow a dog off a chain return in stunning fashion.
It’s a mighty lead-up to the highly anticipated Present Tense.